Full Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

Full Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

LG is one of the few companies in the market of smartphone manufacturers who are not afraid to experiment in the upper price segment, in other words, constantly invent something new for their flagships. Usually the situation is reversed – companies try as long as possible to maintain top device identical to each other year after year, pulling characteristics, and occasionally refreshing design. Examples of weight – from Apple, Samsung and HTC to the brightest – Sony, where the design of the device in the upper price range is almost unchanged since Xperia Z1, released in 2013.

For LG flagship – field experiments. The smartphone LG G2 was tested the solution with the control buttons on the “back” body, and made the most subtle frame. The LG G3 have gone on ways to increase the screen diagonal for the leader (5.5 “vs. 5.2” in the LG G2), reworked camera and decided to “play around” with the metallized plastic texture, giving the smartphone a more expensive look. The next flagship – LG G4 – was largely improved G3 version, but completely changed in appearance: abandoned plastic “under the metal”, invented a removable cover made of genuine leather, made slightly curved inside the case to protect the display from damage when dropped. For my taste, as part of the design and ergonomics LG G4 was not a role model for the rest turned out to be comparable to competitors, but one just ahead of all – as a photo. This smartphone, and is now doing the best photos at low light and at night (it’s not about speed photography, namely a), excelling in this respect, and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and Apple’s devices.

Another flagship – LG G5 – again became a subject for experiments. The company once again completely revamped design of the keys have shifted to the “back” on the ends, add a scanner, invented a system of plug-in modules and a slightly simplified version of the device – LG G5 SE on a simpler platform. The rest of the devices are identical. In this review, I’ll tell you about all the features of LG G5 on the example of the simplified version – LG G5 SE. Go.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

LG G5 SE: Design

External similarities in LG G4 and LG G5 is practically no, the company once again “went through” design. The smartphone was more strict and, at the same time simpler and more relaxed than its predecessor. For some, the lack of vivid detail – plus. For someone – a minus, it is a matter of personal preference.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

Attract attention with a curved front panel in the upper part of the protective glass, the module of the two cameras on the back side, and the lower end to the system of interchangeable modules, but in general looks new LG G5 easy. Perhaps this is the case, when I have nothing special to write about design, so it is simple.

The smartphone is available in four colors: silver, gold, pink and gray. In any variation of these colors is the colors, the body remains approximately monotonous and dim. This, again, someone will like it, some do not.

LG G5 SE: Materials used

The materials in the LG G5 SE related an interesting feature. The fact that all the presentations on the official website called smartphone apparatus in a metal enclosure. At the same time, when you take the device in hand, the metal is not felt. Moreover, if a smartphone accidentally scratch or fall and get chips, you are likely to see on the back of slezshey characteristic traces of paint and plastic underneath. And yet – the case is really made of metal.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

I do not know why, the LG decided to use this solution, there is no apparent benefit from him not, but that is what it is. The base body in LG G5 SE of aluminum, in particular, all of the “tub”, which is e-filling, and ribs. However, outside of the body covered with a thick layer of plastic, which is coated on top “under the metal.” This explains the fact that if you take the scissors and scrape on the cover, then erasing the primary layer is likely to decide if plastic housing. To get to the base metal, it is necessary just to pick open several layers of cover.

Painted plastic over metal causes another problem (in addition to the lack of a sense that an expensive device in his hands). At the edge of the body color is “chrome”, and in these places the paint starts to peel faster just so that after only a month or two on the machine will be gaps plastic. It is not too much if you do not pay attention, but still unpleasant.

Front panel – specially curved glass Gorilla Glass 4. In contrast to the currently fashionable 2.5D glass, LG G5 is bent at the top, creating a smooth pad for convenient curtain call notifications. When you need to open it, the finger is not clinging to the end, and slides down comfortably. The decision turned out not only beautiful (and simple glass with 2.5D effect), but also useful from a practical point of view.

LG G5 SE: Dimensions

The size of the new LG G5 is almost completely repeats last year’s model. Due to the smooth curves and rounded edges of the unit conveniently fits in your hand, keep and use it comfortably. This smartphone is called small, of course, will not work. When a diagonal of 5.3 ” device, to put it mildly, not record-sized and comparable with models where the diagonal above – 5.5 ”.

  • Apple iPhone 6S Plus (5.5 ”) – 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm, 192 grams
  • LG G5 (5.5 ”) – 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.3 mm, 156 grams
  • LG G4 (5.5 ”) – 148.9 x 76.1 x 9.8 mm, 155 grams
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge (5.5 “) – 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm, 157 grams
  • HTC 10 (5.2 ”) – 145.9 x 71.9 x 9 mm 161 grams

A year ago I would have focused on the dimensions of the smartphone more seriously, but, in my opinion, are now devices with a diagonal of 5.5 “have become commonplace and any model of settling down in size into the framework of the popular devices in this category, normally perceived.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

LG G5 SE: Controls

Here I want to grumble a bit. Experiments – is nice, but I think it must be some kind of limit, some things, items that, by adopting and promoting once, should not be changed after a short period of time. Yes, I’m talking about the controls, in particular, the power and volume keys. It would seem a trifle, but I do not think so. With smartphone LG G2 company began to promote the idea of the key block in the back of the smartphone. Three buttons are located on the back of the device in the upper region, near the main camera. Unusually, but overall comfortable and the company has made the correct accents, promoting the idea. Then there were LG G3 and LG G4, as well as the intermediate model (such as LG V10) with the same arrangement of the logic keys.

And here comes LG G5. the volume buttons on the left edge, the power button back and combined with a fingerprint reader. There is some logic, the general principle? To be honest, I do not see. Yes, to the location personally, I also used to fast, but the approach is confusing because the entire block of buttons on the back of the device was a great idea.

Unlock your smartphone (turn on the screen) in three ways – by pressing the power on the back of the device, double-tap of the display on the surface or touching the power button (a fingerprint scanner on it). This third method is convenient because the food does not need to press the button (as in the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, for example, where pressing the Home key is required), just enough to touch her.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

The scanner can store up to five prints, works quickly and accurately, no claims in the past month using this machine I have for this element has not arisen (as opposed to a scanner in the Samsung Galaxy S Edge, which I somehow “hang”).

Like other smartphones, there is a system of gestures:

  • Automatic answer a call when you hold the smartphone to your ear (even if the device is connected to the Bluetooth-headset)
  • Mute the ringer volume when you pick up your smartphone with the surface of a table, shelf or something else
  • Switching to silent mode during an incoming call when you turn smartphone
  • Stop the alarm or the inclusion of re-operation, when you turn your smartphone
  • Pause in the video playback, when you turn your smartphone
  • Now about the location of elements and connectors. At the top there are infrared, optional microphone and a 3.5 mm mini-jack. At the bottom – USB Type-C, the primary microphone and speaker.

On the front side, at the top, located earpiece, light sensors and proximity, as well as the indicator light and the eye 8 MP front camera. Tray under two nanoSIM nanoSIM card or one card and the memory card is on the right edge.

LG G5 SE: Screen

The LG G5 set a screen with a diagonal of 5.3 ”, based on IPS-matrix (IPS Quantum). Display resolution – 2560×1440 pixels (554 ppi). The characteristics of the screen resembles the one in LG G4 – that is good. Any stock of brightness, viewing angles are maximum. Even if you reject the screen diagonal, there is absolutely no distortion of the image in color or brightness. Automatic backlight works occasionally on the battery savings, ie, exposes the backlight level below that which would like to see, but in the afternoon it work quite correct. The color temperature is adjusted well, in my opinion, and of the disadvantages I note only the inability to change it.

The screen is covered with a protective glass Gorilla Glass and has a high-quality 4 oleophobic coating, so that the on-screen prints and a few traces can be easily removed.

As the flagship of Samsung, LG G5 supports Always-on technology as a kind of useful information is always displayed on the screen. The G5 can be displayed on the time and date of the notification of new line (system), as well as any arbitrary signature.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

Again, as in the Samsung, LG to note the extremely low power consumption of this piece, but, as in the Samsung, if the operation time is important to you – about the Always-on is better to forget. Although Samsung is used more effectively to this scenario AMOLED-display, but here IPS, I turned off the option and there and there (in the S7 Edge and G5 SE).

LG G5 SE: Camera

Basic camera LG G5 SE has two sensor – one with a resolution of 16 megapixels, aperture f / 1.8, the color spectrum sensor, optical stabilization system on three axes (OIS) and the laser focusing system. The second – Wide, with a resolution of 8 MP and aperture f / 2.4.

The idea is that you use a 16-megapixel camera, but if you need to take a picture, reaching the maximum space (the total photo on holiday, some beautiful scenery and so on) to the usual scenario – switch to the wide-angle camera.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

You might think that this is a publicity stunt and actually the camera in LG G5 is not too much different angle shooting, but it’s not. The second camera is really wide-angle and allows you to get in the frame several times more information than the basic.

Image quality from the wide-angle camera is worse than basic, but for its tasks, it seems to me, it is quite sufficient. Use it all the time, you hardly will. So let’s talk about the main camera.

Like the LG G4, the main camera module is equipped with optical image stabilization system and a laser focus. Focus speed in the G5 about LG G4 level. The quality of the photo on the first firmware, to be honest, not as high as I expected, although good in general. But now the company is preparing a new firmware, and with each new camera will be improved, so that in this respect we can expect progress.

In my opinion, in the afternoon about the same apparatus was removed, in light conditions lack LG G4 looks stronger.

Now take a look at the comparative examples of the night shots, there will already be three devices: LG G4, LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

Here, I would have distributed the devices as follows: the highest quality and close to the reality of the picture gives LG G4, I think that this smartphone is still out of the competition when it comes to taking pictures at night, better yet just do not have vehicles. In second place LG G5 – the picture he gets is not as sharp and natural, but overall it is still close to what you see with your own eyes in reality. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge last – yes, smartphone even at night takes off instantly, his background and LG G4, and LG G5 focus eternity, but the pictures on the S7 Edge are too artificial: peresharp, drag the exhibition in photographs it looks not so in fact.

Now, briefly about the interface. Like the LG G4, there are three shooting modes (for both chambers): simple, basic and manual. The first – a simple, it you do not see any sort of elements and information, you simply touch the screen at any point, and smart phone makes the photo.

The second – the base, displaying all settings. At the same time you need to shoot, press the key here as you can change various settings of the image resolution to the shooting mode.

Finally, the third and most important mode – manual. In this mode you can take pictures with automatic settings, but with the creation of two files: RAW (extension DNG) and JPEG, as well as full manual mode. In the second case you can adjust the white balance, exposure (+2 to -2), shutter speed (from 1/3200 to 30 seconds), the ISO (50 to 3200) and adjust the focal length. In short, it is a full manual mode, as detailed as it now may even be necessary in the smartphone camera.

Shooting on LG G5 in manual mode – a different story. Even taking into account that the first firmware did not disclose potential camera (I’m sure it is correct in the future), manual mode allows you to take great shots in a variety of situations and conditions. Maybe somehow I do a separate article with examples of images on the LG G5 SE manual.

If we compare the camera and LG G4 LG G5, the main difference is reduced to an additional wide module. Small differences in the automatic mode is, but is generally in good conditions, G4 and G5 give comparable results. G4 is the night shoots better, but I hope in future firmware will correct this moment and G5 will get better.

Video. The maximum recording quality – UltraHD (3840×2160 pixels), standard – FullHD (1920×1080), in addition to recording at 30 or 60 frames per second, there is a record with a speed of up to 120 fps. In video mode the AF tracking. The quality of the recorded video is good, however, you can appreciate the videos on their own examples.

Front-camera. The front camera with a resolution of 8 MP and aperture f / 2.0 allows you to take good pictures, but no more. Frankly, from the “front» in LG G5 I expected much more. As in due time and the camera in the G4. In the afternoon on a sunny day, the quality can be called reasonable, with a deterioration in conditions or in the dark pictures are converted into “soap” with a very prominent post-processing.

LG G5 SE: Autonomy

LG G5 SE has a removable Li-Ion battery capacity of 2800 mAh, a little weaker than was used in the LG G3 and G4.

My sample LG G5 SE worked for the evening, discharging all the way to 17-18 hours under heavy loads (for example – Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge at me in this manner survives about 20 hours, but the external battery will still have to use). The difference in working hours under normal conditions between the LG G5 SE and LG G4 last year in the margin of error, with the active operation, both the smartphone sit down in the evening, at a moderate work a full day.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

I can not say that all is well, I personally expected from the new flagship of the progress just from the point of view of battery life, because LG G4 in this respect was not far from the record, but, alas, there is no progress here. Like other manufacturers, unfortunately, did not rush to move in this direction.

In the setting of the power can be turned on “power saving” mode when the battery level decrease below 5 or below 15 percent. In this mode, the brightness is reduced, turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, vibration, and Auto Sync service indicator light.

LG G5 SE: CPU and Memory

The smartphone is built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform 652 (MSM 8976) with eight cores: four core Cortex-A72 with a frequency of 1.8 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 with a frequency of 1.2 GHz. Graphic System (GPU) – Adreno 510. The device 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of built-in, as well as a slot for microSD memory card. Actually, it is, in fact, the only thing that distinguishes the “trimmed» LG G5 SE of the flagship LG G5, – platform. Flagship runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, has on-board graphics Adreno 530 and 4GB “RAM”.

If in the case of the LG G4 company just for some reason chose netopovoy platform, then the LG G5 made in two versions – a regular G5 and slightly simplified G5 SE. In Russia, it is the latest model available, and Snapdragon 652 platform it provides a good level of performance, though inferior to the other flagships on top platforms in synthetic tests.

LG G5 SE: Interfaces

The smartphone LG G5 SE works in networks GSM, HSDPA and LTE. For LTE, there is support for all common frequency bands and, in the Russian networks fourth-generation device works without problems. The smartphone is a radio and two slots for SIM-card.

USB. For PC synchronization and data transfer using USB Type-C cable is complete. The USB 2.0 (in LG G5 – USB 3.0). Supports standard USB-OTG and USB-Host – to a smart phone can be connected via an adapter flash drives and other storage devices, such as camera to transfer images from it to your device.

Bluetooth. Built-in Bluetooth 4.2 module supporting A2DP profiles, LE (low energy) and Apt-X.

Wi-Fi (802.11a / ac / b / g / n). The LG G5 SE uses dual-band Wi-Fi module, this interface works flawlessly. Like any other modern Android-smartphone, G5 SE supports mobile Internet rassharivaniya on Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi-router), as well as DLNA standards and Wi-Fi Direct.

NFC. The standard interface for all the flagship Android-based from 2013 onwards there and LG G5 SE. It turns on and off in the settings menu “Sharing and connection”.

LG G5 SE: Navigation

The smartphone supports GPS / A-GPS and GLONASS satellites to find out the minimum amount of time. Special navigation software in the Android-smartphone is not, and manufacturers are usually limited to a pre-Google Maps, LG G4 in this sense, is no exception.

LG G5 SE: Software and features

The smartphone runs on Android 6.0 system with a proprietary interface LG UX 5.0. Most of the settings and the shell as a whole has remained almost unchanged in comparison with the UX 4.0 in LG G4. Of course, externally the new interface is now even more smooth, neat and quiet design.

One of the innovations of the fifth version of the LG UX – now the application icons located on the desktop and the applications menu is no more, that is, the company switched to logic “in iOS» interface. It is important, if you want you can switch to the familiar interface display mode with a separate menu of the application as it was before.

The rest – a familiar interface and a set of programs, almost unchanged compared to the LG G4.

Lock screen. On the lock screen displays new notifications in one line and the time at the bottom of a number of shortcuts available for quick access applications. Set shortcuts can be changed in the settings, and it will not necessarily be the same as the label on the bottom panel on the desktop.

Most in the LG G3 and G4 saddens me strange and illogical system move from the notification on the lock screen to the applications they generated. For example, I receive notification of new messages in the Telegram or WhatsApp, I click on it to open the program, but before I get into the program, I need more time to spend with your finger to unlock the screen. You will not believe, but LG G5 this system again on the spot! And this despite the fact that Android 6.0 for the transition from the notification card on the lock screen to notification to simply double tap on the card and all. There are no words.

Pre-installed software. The smartphone has a handy file manager with the ability to view files by category, or on shared storage, search and sort by criteria. weather app with animated graphics, if you do not run it as widget. Calculator, voice recorder, radio – all of these programs are executed in the same graphic style as the rest of the interface.

QuickMemo + application allows you to create text notes or write by hand.

Like the LG G4, there is a clock widget and weather information with the attached socket Smart Notice notification. The idea is simple – in the form of short notices reminding the user of important things: change the weather, calendar events, missed notifications and so on. True, Smart Notice functionality is still limited to just a few types of notifications: the weather and the new developments, as well as tips.

The LG G5 SE have a service LG Health, considering the distance traveled, pace, and calories.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

LG G5 SE: Plug-in modules

Main feature LG G5 and LG G5 SE – plug-in modules. The lower block is removed, and instead, you can set a special module that extends the capabilities of the device. Base unit with battery can be considered as standard, in addition to this, there are two more – the amplifier for the best quality music and camera keys (and optional battery inside).

The first module – a massive block with a camera keys: recording button, zoom wheel and a few other elements. It also built an extra battery. It looks something like this:

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

The second module – with a separate DAC, branded by Bang and Olufsen, is needed in order to get on the smartphone better sound. As is the case with the first module, this increases the size of the smartphone, though not so much.

The idea of modules is interesting and personally I like, but as long as its implementation raises many questions, from the beginning to the specific modules. Why do you need to replace a module, remove the battery, thereby interrupting the smartphone? If I want to connect to an important moment for the camera module, then half a minute I will just have to stay without an operating device, it is inconvenient.

Review LG G5 SE: modular smartphone

Large modules. Why make such a camera module for a massive? How he does it useful? The same goes for the sound module. Finally, the reason for the start of sales of the flagship company managed to prepare just two modules? Really I had no idea? I honestly do not believe it.


The quality of signal reception for nearly a month of use LG G5 SE I did not have any complaints. The volume of the ringer speaker is slightly above average, using a single speaker. In most situations, it is heard well, if you put the volume to maximum. The speaker volume is also at a good level, there is a small margin for the volume of conversations in noisy environments. Vibrating alert is average in power.

Each of these smartphones have their own strengths and weaknesses, of course, like LG G5 SE. My main gripe with the new smartphone LG comes down to one thing – he has turned uncertain. The company too went into the experiments, came up with plug-in modules, but have not developed this idea fairly complete (two modules to be released – this is not serious). Perhaps there will be new units, but so far that’s it. The LG G4 was the emphasis on removable cover of leather, cool chamber, LG G3 – on the high resolution screen in the LG G2 – thin frame and compact dimensions. Each of these devices I’ve used as a primary more than half that for a man who has the ability to change the smart phone just once a week, significant time, agree. “Tubes” from LG I liked is its completeness. For my taste, it is this lack LG G5 SE. Here is a good screen, moderate size, sufficient for performance (although SE tests and gives all flagships on top platforms), comparable to competitors operating time, very high quality main camera, comparable with LG G4 and Samsung Galaxy S7, as well as an extra wide-angle to different situations, which generally unavailable from other manufacturers. But still something is missing to this smartphone. Maybe I’m expecting too much careful work to improve the LG G4 in the new flagship, and got a completely different device, and it raises my conclusions. I do not know